Enquirer’s cover image of Whitney Houston in her casket – way too far? (photo blurred)

This is a version in which I’ve blurred over the photo. In the version on newsstands, Whitney’s full face is shown. She’s made up and looks like she’s sleeping

I still remember when OK! Magazine featured a cover photo of Michael Jackson after he’d died. It was sad and unnecessary, and many people found it both disrespectful to the family and to Michael’s memory. That’s how I feel about this Enquirer cover photo of Whitney Houston’s open casket. This will be featured on the issue that’s about to hit newsstands today, and it makes me wonder: will it have a “family shield” to cover up this image of a dead person? My son is at an age where he can understand death, but when he was younger he had no concept of it and I wouldn’t want to have to explain it to the little guy in a supermarket checkout line. I’d rather my kid see some T&A (and he can see two daddies or mommies any day) than a dead person staring out at him. It’s not the image so much as the questions and sadness it brings up.

Last week The National Enquirer seemed to have stooped to a new low when they published photos inside the magazine that recreated Whitney’s death scene. They even had a photo on the cover that looked like Whitney laying dead face down on the bathroom floor. (Really! Here’s that cover above, thanks to Sammie.) That picture was captioned “Photo Re-Created” below in smallish lettering, but larger font screamed that they had “Exclusive Crime Scene Photos.” Well they didn’t have to use a fake Whitney to recreate the poor lady dead in her casket, since someone at a private open casket viewing scored a payday by snapping a photo and selling it to the tabloids. Here’s more:

Whitney Houston fans expressed shock and outrage Wednesday after the National Enquirer printed an image of the iconic singer in an open casket on its cover.

The morbid photo, purportedly taken inside the family’s private viewing at the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J., last Friday, shows Houston’s body lying in her half-opened, polished bronze casket.

It shows the dead pop star wearing what looks like a purple dress along with a brooch pinned to her chest and an earing sparkling in her ear.

The headline claims she was buried wearing $500,000 worth of jewels and gold slippers on her feet.

Facebook and Twitter users lashed out at the tabloid, calling the move trashy and shameful.

“MADD at who ever sold Whitney Houston’s pic of her in a casket,” reality star Evelyn Lozada, from VH1′s “Basketball Wives,” wrote on Twitter.

“Whoever sold the photo of Whitney Houston in her coffin to the National Enquirer is a vile, twisted, evil and unscrupulous sub-human,” London-based fan Christiana Mbakwe tweeted.

Even celebrity blogger Perez Hilton called it a “tasteless, insensitive, morbid thing to do” on his eponymous website.

Of course, the death photo is hardly without precedent. The National Enquirer famously ran a photo of Elvis in his coffin in 1977.

[From The NY Daily News]

In 2007, The Enquirer ran a “photo recreation” of a deceased Anna Nicole Smith in a body bag after her death. We covered that, and some outlets claimed that the photos were really of Anna after her death. At least one paparazzi agency did claim to have photos of Anna’s corpse, which lent credence to the stories that it was really her.

Let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment: Whitney looks pretty in that photo in her casket, she appears at peace, and some may say that she lived in the public eye so it’s fitting that this photo be published. That reasoning doesn’t account for all the people and loved ones she left behind, particularly her 18 year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Bobbi is already going through the worst time of her life, how is this going to affect her to have to see her deceased mom on a tabloid cover? That’s just ridiculously mean. My heart has been sinking the whole time I’m writing this, because I’m imagining seeing a loved one in their casket before going through the awful process of attending their burial. We have open casket viewings to provide closure to family and loved ones, the dead person is not meant to be publicly gawked at.

I deliberately didn’t include a link to the photo. It’s all over the place though and if you have even moderate Google skill you can easily find it. Hell, just go to the store on Friday and it will probably be there already.

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134 Responses to “Enquirer’s cover image of Whitney Houston in her casket – way too far? (photo blurred)”

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  1. jen d. says:

    Thanks for not publishing it. Jezebel did, and I thought it was classless.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      So did Fox News online. Just awful.

      • Kim says:

        I see nothing wrong with this. I think its an honor to her of how famous and admired she was. They chose to have open casket so MANY people saw her in person how is a photo worse?

    • anti says:

      agreed. thank you for blurring it :(

    • Maguita says:

      Makes you wonder, WHO TOOK THE PHOTO.

      If this was restricted to close family and friends, than who took the picture, who sold the picture, who made the money?

      • Linney says:

        I wonder if it was someone who worked for the funeral home. I hope not.

      • Maguita says:

        They would be sued, so they won’t take the chance. That is why I think it is someone close to Whitney.

        Wouldn’t be the first time someone sold her to the Enquirer. Remember the pictures of her living conditions when she was heavily doing drugs?

      • Linney says:

        People risk getting sued all the time. That threat certainly doesn’t stop every desperate person.

      • Maguita says:

        Good point. If the family will sue the NE, we’ll know if it was internal leak or external.

        Unfortunately, in this day and age, a lot of people will be trying to cash in on a celebrity’s death.

        But to be honest on the casket picture, I’ve attended a few personas’ open casket public viewing. So it doesn’t bother me that much. Seen politicians, and a Pope. The difference here, is that the family did not want a public viewing of the open casket, and the NE should have respected their wishes.

        We have a deeper moral problem when we stop respecting the dead.

      • P.J. says:

        There’s no one in the room photo, which suggests it was shot when the room was empty or near-empty–certainly not in the middle of the wake when there would be people milling about.

        So it must have been shot by an insider, probably funeral home employees or close family/friends. The Enquirer probably paid a small fortune for the picture, very tempting.

      • Maguita says:

        Great point P.J.

        I just can’t look at the little picture of the whole casket in detail. It’s as if it were pictured from the entrance door. My father passed away not long ago, and my mother insisted on getting him “prepped” like that. I remember going first into the viewing room, and seeing the casket EXACTLY like that from the entrance, with the lighting, and the empty make-upped shell of what used to be my father. Freaked me out. I did not stay. That is why I thought of someone from family and friends first, because the workers at the funeral home have much better access than this, and could have had all the time in the world to take better pictures.

        I’m gonna go for ice cream. Shit like that brings me down.

    • Whtavever says:

      Just because they had an open casket doesn’t mean they wanted it plastered on the tabloids. I mean, what happened to respecting the dead? The funeral home, or maybe one of Bobby’s relatives did it.

      • whatthewhat says:

        Who cares? She’s dead. If she made her own funeral arrangements and asked for a closed casket or for pictures of her body to not be published, then…yes…it’s disrespect of the dead. If her mother made the arrangements, it’s just a picture of a dead Whitney…and, her mother has way bigger things to worry about than the public seeing the first picture in years that Whitney has looked decent.

  2. Agnes says:

    way too far. sad and unnecessary, like you said.

  3. sarah says:

    Sick and wrong on every level

    • nina grove says:

      agree.SICK.can´t just let her be even after she´s dead?this actually made me sick to my stomach.yeah,she was a celebrity,but also a HUMAN BEING.

  4. Sue says:


  5. shannon says:

    Way too far, and I was wondering the same thing – if the stores will put the shield over it. I, too, would much rather have my son see some cleavage than this. I’m not sure who’s worse, the magazine for publishing it, or the person who took the picture and sold it. Probably the latter, since it’s likely that was someone Whitney Houston knew and trusted in life.

    • Rio says:

      I saw it on in the grocery aisle (I’m in NYC) and there was no family shield. The shields really depend on the store and the market– where my family is (Georgia) they put family shields on “Cosmopolitan” and a couple of other “How to have sex until your genitals fall off”-type women’s magazines. I don’t remember if they do it for tabloids.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        Just left the Wegmans in NJ. No shield there either. In fact, it was at a child’s eye level.

  6. Shelly says:

    I admit I Googled it. Wish I hadn’t.

  7. Shelly says:

    Oh, and I also wish they hadn’t published this. I just think of her daughter – she surely has many photos of her mother when her mother was alive, that she would always be able to look at. And when you see someone at their viewing, that memory eventually fades, especially as you look through old photos of them when they were alive. Now she will always be able to see this photo of her mother in her casket, anytime on the internet. I wouldn’t want to be able to ever see that again.

  8. Sisi says:

    Horrible. I hope this isn’t Bobby’s doing.

    • tweety says:

      OMG, c’mon..just stop

      • Sisi says:


        I didn’t mean anything mean with it at all.

        on other sites commenters were joking round and naming his name immediately. That gave me the reaction you had just now at me.
        My post was meant in defense to what I read on other places, because I was hoping that such talk wouldn’t happen here. But maybe I didn’t phrase it the right way…

    • SallyBee says:

      Sadly, I thought the same thing.

  9. lover says:

    I saw it and she actually looked beautiful and peacefull, sleeping princess.. yes its wrong but with stars there is always an asshole with a camera willing to sell the pics.. i remeber tupacs autopsy report..

  10. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    In cases like this, i think the funeral home should ask guests to surrender their cell phones or cameras before they enter the viewing room. If they really wanted to take it further, the family could have hired an off duty officer to pat down everyone who consented. If they didn’t want to be searched, they shoud be asked to leave.

    I took a look at the picture, and the funeral home did a great job. At the very least it’s not the most horrifying way for her to be remembered (see JFK autopsy photos 😳). Also, she may have been wearing $500,000 worth of jewelry, but I doubt she was buried in it. We take that off when everyone leaves and give it back to the family after the service.

    • MsGoblin says:

      I hope the word gets out that she was not actually buried wearing a half-million dollars worth of jewelry.

      You just know some morally-bankrupt jerk would try to dig-up the grave to get to it.

      • Petunia says:

        I was worried about that too, MsGoblin. That would be the worst thing imaginable and yet there are sickos out there who would do it.

    • Seagulls says:

      Weren’t those autopsy pictures faked? It’s been a long time since I’ve brushed up on my conspiracy theories.

      • Uptoearly says:

        depends what conspiracy theory you subscribe to…I.know alot of people who still think he’s alive…

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        @msGoblin, I hope so too. That’s a pretty irresponsible thing to print and I’m sure there are some sick, desperate people willing to rob her grave. I live in NJ and, at the moment, the state has been paying for police to guard her grave. It’s only a temporary measure but at least she’s safe for the moment.

        @seagulls, I just googled “Kennedy autopsy photos fake,” and it seems that’s up for debate. They look authentic to me, in the sense that the face appears to be his. However, some are saying the head wounds aren’t consistent with the reported injuries (bullet trajectories etc.), that the photos are too blurry, and/or that the background was not the Bethesda Naval Hospital Morgue (where the autopsy took place). Thanks for the tip. I know the River Phoenix photos are real because his mother confirmed it. The Monroe photos also have a case number on them, so I think they’re authentic. Unfortunately there’s a whole site dedicated to celebrity death photos, with pictures of Marilyn Monroe, Sharon Tate, TuPac, Lenny Bruce etc. So what happened to Whitney, however unfortunate, is not uncommon.

    • brin says:

      ITA, Mort, and thanks for all the info, most of us don’t know about these things.

  11. Celebasshat says:

    I will bet my two cents its one of the family member that sold it to star mag

  12. jen says:

    Par for the course in Hollyweird. (See Hollywood Babylon)

    • Maguita says:

      Apparently Hollywood Babylon was fiction.

      I know, I was disappointed too, for I have both volumes. But you can see it on their site, where they confirm that theirs was a work of fiction.

      Still… Would like to think that most of the (horrible) stories were true, and they only put up their rebuttal so there will be no legal repercussions.

  13. Maya says:

    It all depends.
    If people are from cultures where open caskets are the norm, then it’s not so abhorrent (in terms of viewing the image). However in this case or the moral aspect, the image is being used to sell a magazine and in that instance, it’s vulgar and ghoulish.

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes I agree. I hadn’t seen anyone dead until I went to the funeral of a work colleague and they had an open casket. Whilst it was intially a shock and confronting, it was also comforting and respectful. To sell Whitney’s photo just to make money is just abhorrent. I won’t be buying it.

  14. Asli says:

    Didn’t see pics of Michael Jackson dead, am not going to see pics of Whitney Houston dead. Whoever sold that pic is disgusting. Isn’t it most likely that it was a guest or security who took and sold the photo? Could the paps get in there?

  15. aenflex says:

    No offense to CB intended at all, or anyone that I may offend.
    I just don’t see what all the hoopla is about. Yes, she could sing. Now she is dead. She pretty much led herself into a life where drug/alcohol related death is much more feasible and probable. Winehouse and Pheonix and Ledger all did the same thing..Should flags be lowered to half-mast for her? Hell no!! (is my feeling)
    Should everyone news outlet in the world portray this as the end-all of newsworthy tidbits? Hell no! (is my feeling)
    F*#! I liked her music but we Americans have our priorities all f’ed up.

  16. ataylor says:

    Honestly? I don’t see the big deal about it. In my family this is common practice. When you die, you get your picture taken in the casket and then FRAMED and placed upon the mantle for all to see. No joke.

    The image itself isn’t bad. At least Whitney looks pretty. Bad would be a picture of Whitney post-autopsy on the cover.

    Then again, something like this just doesn’t shock me thanks to my weird-ass family.

    • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

      @Ataylor, I once directed a Buddhist funeral where they took photos. They told me that the photo of the deceased goes at the end of a photo album (dedicated to the person) and represents the life cycle from birth to death. Very interesting stuff. Not weird at all if it’s part of one’s culture or tradition. I just think people are taking offense to the Whitney photo because it appears to be unauthorized and may upset her family or others who are faced with it while paying for their groceries at the checkout. It’s all about context.

    • Linney says:

      Yes, a picture is taken and put on your mantle in your home, not splashed on a tabloid for the world to see and for some scumbag to make money off of. Big difference.

      • Maguita says:

        Bingo! It all boils down to profit. And selling pictures of a dead women, is one nasty disturbing way of doing it. Especially if it were done by a family member.

  17. neelyo says:

    Didn’t the National Enquire rise to prominence because they featured a cover with an Elvis Presley coffin photo? I was expecting them to publish one of these.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, that’s the first thing I thought of when I heard about this. I remember being a kid at the grocery store and staring at the Elvis photo in shock and horror. I felt like it was wrong to be seeing it, yet there it was in the open. So unseemly.

      I had been familiar with tabloids before that because I’d read them at my great aunt’s when I was bored, but the stories were more sci-fi than celeb-focused, alien babies and circus freak-type people. I feel like after the Elvis photo was published, the tabs became more celeb-fueled.

  18. TheOriginalVictoria says:

    This is why I love CB. A class act through and through.

  19. Seagulls says:

    The only thing that bugs me about this is that, although she was famous, she deserved to have her privacy respected. My family takes pictures of our deceased, too (although the pictures don’t go up on the mantle), but we’re their family and we aren’t doing it to make a bundle.

    Death isn’t meaningfully discussed in this world, and as it is a fact of life, I don’t see the point in shielding ourselves from it, but them publishing this picture is bad form.

  20. carrie says:

    i didn’t google it

  21. AnnieC says:

    Euh, it’s really inappropriate, & disrespectful to the grieving family. Just because celebrities have very public lives it doesn’t mean they should be deprived of privacy. So tasteless of the Nat. Enq.

  22. Ravensdaughter says:

    Arguments for a closed casket, even at the viewing. My family has traditionally only allowed immediate family to view the body. Now cremation is what we’re all doing, although I note celebs don’t do that.
    I Googled it, too, and I agree that the funeral home did a nice job. The “Final Binge” pictures above are much more distressing-there is the “what if” factor that makes them even worse.

    • elfie says:

      Just a question.. And I’m assuming you are american… It is tradition in the USA tokeep the casket closed? Because where I am from it’ s pretty common. The casket is only closed when the body had too much damage..

  23. Redheadwriter says:

    Personally, I view death and all the pomp and circumstance around it as a celebration of a person’s life. I don’t understand why anyone is getting all worked up about these photos other than for being an invasion of privacy. Seeing Whitney in her coffin is not going to scar children. If our kids can handle seeing a Kardashian on magazine covers, in all their fake glory, surely a photo of a beautiful woman in her final moments is not going to cause lasting injury.

    Yes, it is tacky. The name of the rag publishing it already gave that info away!

  24. Jackie says:

    I’ve been through this where a “legit” CT newpaper published pictures when my relative was killed. I can’t tell you how horrible it felt. There is a morbid fascination where gawkers will not only look at the pictures but actively seek out to be close to the situation. Makes you just want to slap the disrespect out of the rags and the spectators.

  25. mln76 says:

    It’s not about the image itself which is actually not that bad(Jezebel didn’t give anyone a choice). It’s about the fact that some asshole had the tasteless idea to sell the pics. These should be kept within the family.

  26. ... says:

    Thank you Morticians! That was the most irritating thing about the cover to me (less the picture- shudder). No funeral home ever just leaves jewelry, etc. If requested I go all out for younger clients, adding hair extensions and what not but if I provide my own supply I remove them after the service. I cannot imagine that much jewelry being interred!

    • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

      Wow! We bring someone in to do the hair. Restorative art and makeup are more my forte, and I leave the hair up to the professional stylists. I can’t imagine being asked to do extensions! I have no personal experience with them whatsoever.

      • ... says:

        These days I focus on restorative but business is slow so I freelance. I had to correct a few really bad embalmings using only makeup (one on my own sister-took six hours) after that word spread. I find that younger ladies like myself in their 20s really want to look made up like themselves so I get requests. I like it better than paying with pvc piping and putty honestly. Like a bitchin’ MAC makeup saleswomen, ha ha. We have to be versatile these days with cremation-only becoming more popular. I cannot handle families so I expand to other areas.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        Aww that’s sad about your sister, I’m so sorry. I embalmed my grandmother, a highschool teacher and a classmate but I’m not sure if I could work on immediate family. What state are you in?

  27. Christine says:

    Had the photo been released with permission from the family, I don’t know why the public would feel upset?
    Personally, what bothers me is the choice to be buried.
    They pickle you, dress you up, apply make up etc and then you lie there in a box six feet under for all eternity slowly rotting away despite being pickled.
    Cremation is obviously my preference. It’s better for the environment too. And graveyards are taking up way too much space and that problem will obviously worsen.
    I respect others and their choice to be buried, but IMO, it’s just so damn icky.

  28. Stubbylove says:

    Tasteless and unnecessary – bloody hell, is nothing sacred?

  29. Cathy says:

    It’s a total invasion of the familys privacy. It’s one thing to take a picture for private family use. Sneaking a picture and selling it to make a buck is low and unforgivable. Whoever did that should be ashamed of themselves.

  30. Petunia says:

    On the one hand, I think we’re too shielded from death and freak out whenever we’re touched by it, due to being so shielded from it.

    On the other hand, I think that if Whitney’s relatives didn’t want this photo out, then it shouldn’t be out. Respecting her family seems to be the key issue here. That, and as you say, protecting very young eyes from something they wouldn’t understand.

  31. Dorothy says:

    I wish whoever did it would have thought twice about taking the picture. Sad! :(

  32. Palermo says:

    I’m more concerned that they posted “she was buried with $500,000 worth of jewelry”. If they did that (which I highly doubt since she was broke) they have encouraged some idiot to try and dig her up now.

    • Valeria Phillips says:

      Whitney was and is far from broke.

      • mln76 says:

        Whitney was broke her homes were about to be foreclosed on and she had a drug problem. Clive Davis was paying most of her bills for her. Unfortunately the estate will not see the same jump in income that Michael Jackson and others have seen because she never had rights to her music since she never wrote any songs.

      • TruthTella says:

        @MLN76 Whitney wasn’t broke that’s just tabloid BS, she had sold 175m records and had world tours etc, in fact she only wrapped up her last tour 1-2 years ago and that made like $50,000,000…
        Pluss her house wasn’t going into forclosure it was just on the market to sell.

    • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

      I can ALMOST guarantee she was not.

      • the original bellaluna says:

        Hey, Mort, any truth to the “caskets being covered in concrete to keep out grave-robbers” thing?

        I think I read about that somewhere.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        @bells, the caskets are placed in a “vault” which can be concrete. A really expensive vault is also covered in copper or bronze alloy (which strengthens/reinforces the concrete). So, concrete isn’t poured over a casket. However, the casket is placed in a concrete “box” or vault that can be reinforced. The reason for vaults is to protect the casket from ground water etc. and cemetery equipment, like backhoes, that are driven over the plots. The vault lids are VERY heavy and a small crane is used to place the lid on top once the casket is inside. If someone were to try and get into Whitney’s casket they’ll have a hell of a time getting the vault lid off and if they do, they need a special tool to open the casket (which is hermetically sealed).

  33. Valeria Phillips says:

    To be frank with everyone who has a problem with the photo…..GET OVER IT! I have been a fan of Whitney Houston for years. I have supported her music and Career by purchasing her music, going to see her movies and enjoying her concerts. Some people went broke supporting her career, when it made her rich. And the least the family could of done, was let her fans pay their respects to her. So to the person who leaked the picture…..,JOB WELL DONE!!!! THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO PAY BY RESPECTS!!!!!! SHE WAS PUT AWAY BEAUTIFULLY!!!!!

  34. the original bellaluna says:

    Shameful. Both the NE and the family member who sold it to them. (And it would have to be a family member, as the viewing was private, family only.)

    Poor Bobbi Kristina.

    • LeeLoo says:

      Except I really have to wonder if it was Bobbi Kristina herself who sold the photo.

      • Madison says:

        More likely one of her “friends” that she sent the picture to or it could be Whitney’s druggie brother Michael, there’s probably a long line of leeches who are friends and family who did it for the money. Whoever did it is a disgusting human being.

    • Whtavever says:

      Doubt it was bobbi kristina or one of Whitne’s relatives. This thing has Bobby written all over it. I hope whomever it was, gets caught and imprisoned for being souless.

  35. skipper says:

    They family shield Shape magazine where I’m at so I’m sure I’ll be safe at the grocery store.

    Question: Why would they autopsy JFK? We all know the cause of death.

    • mln76 says:

      It was a murder investigation, they knew he was shot but needed to confirm where the bullet came from (they still really never have conclusively). And whenever a sitting president dies an autopsy is required.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        Any death under suspicious circumstances requires an autopsy. In NJ these include (but aren’t limited to) murder, suicide, if you’re the driver of a motor vehicle and died, or if you died and haven’t been seen by a Medical doctor within the last two years. So, even if you KNOW how it happened further investigation is required to determine the exact cause of death. There are primary and secondary causes of death, so at some place on his death certificate they would list exactly what part of the body “failed” when the bullet tore through.

    • Esmom says:

      Shape? Seriously? So people aren’t scarred by the images of healthy, fit individuals?

  36. katielouisiana says:

    I remember when they published the Elvis casket photo some thirty five years ago-I was disgusted then and I am disgusted now.I am glad that Celebitchy chose to blur the photo. The Jezebel site has reached new lows as of late-for a site that is supposed to be pro women they are decidedly not. Yesterday they had a headline of “Star Jones is a big fat liar” They suck now.

  37. LeeLoo says:

    This makes me so angry. It’s beyond disrespectful to the loved ones she left behind. This was intended to be a private viewing for her loved ones and that’s how it should have remained. The tabloids took Whitney’s death too far from day one. This is too much and needs to stop. Celebrity deaths need to covered with respect and care out of concern for the loved ones. SMDH.

  38. chloew says:

    Sorry, but I’m more interested in what angie did to make Brad run off crying like a little girl

  39. Tweakspotter says:

    I saw it in the grocery store….turned it around so nobody else could.

  40. Holly Hobby says:

    We can rule out Bobby because he was not at the viewing and he left the funeral early because they wouldn’t seat his other kids – Whitney’s step kids.

    It’s probably from one of they sycophants that ate off Whitney when she was alive – her entourage.

  41. skuddles says:

    I have been in attendance at many funerals where family or even close friends took photos of the deceased. In some cases we were even asked to film the service, including the open casket – not terribly unusual. But in this case, I agree with Mort, mourners should have been asked to surrender cameras and cell phones to eliminate the possibility of photos showing up in a tabloid. But at least Whitney looks lovely and peaceful here – my fear is there’s a photo out there somewhere of her lying dead in the bathtub, waiting to surface…

  42. benny says:

    If they didn’t want people to see her in repose, then why have an open-casket viewing?

    Pictures of the body when it was found are different, especially if it was a private location and not, say, in a public park. But viewings at a funeral? I thought that was the whole point of a viewing.

    • Violet says:

      There is a world of difference in inviting friends and family to view the open casket in person and say their goodbyes versus having the image on the front cover of a tabloid for total strangers to gawk at.

      It’s a complete invasion of privacy, and very disrepectful to Whitney as well as her loved ones.

  43. Kim says:

    Is it disrespectful or honoring someone the world admired/loved? I could see her many fans who obviously didnt get invited to funeral wanting to see her resting in peace. It doesnt bother me nor would it bother me of pics of me in casket were taken and published. I kind of think it shows how revered she was in life & is somewhat of an “honor”. Not many people make covers in their casket. I think its shows how larger than life and admired she was.

  44. Amanda G says:

    Wasn’t the open casket only for close family and friends? That is really sad that one of those people would stoop to this level. No amount of money offered would make me do this to a loved one.

  45. anne_000 says:

    Was it NE that bought those pics of Gary Coleman on his death bed? The ones in which his ex-wife has a great big smile on while she’s taking the pics?

  46. original sandy says:

    this makes me sick to my stomach, so disgusting, she may have looked beautiful, that is not the point, at a time like this when the family is grieving her lost, some sick, desperate, unethical person is trying to profit off the dead, you can;t get much lower than that, i hope whitney’s mom,daughter, and family get through this, and find the sob, and sue the hell out of them.

  47. UKHels says:

    don’t know if it’s a UK thing but the whole ‘open casket’ thing freaks me out anyway

    • skuddles says:

      I completely understand your feelings UKHels but many people, myself included, need to see the deceased…. don’t know why exactly but I guess it makes our loved one’s passing more real, more tangible. It helps us accept what has happened and move forward in the grieving process. But I have also met a lot of people who share your exact sentiments.

  48. Joh says:

    Pictures like this do not bother me ,…
    But I find myself wondering if ms Houston would have wanted to be seen by fans like this.
    In my heart I feel she would not, which makes this a horrible thing to do.

  49. Pizzazz says:

    I guess I am apathetic about this since she was a public figure. Goes with the territory. Could I live my entire life without seeing Whitney’s corpse? Hell yes. Or any other famous corpses for that matter.

    As a mother of two very young kids, this isn’t an issue for me if my children were to happen to see it in a market for some reason. People die. It’s sad but true and most kids won’t have any problems with the subject if you simply tell it like it is and let them ask questions.

  50. Hootie Hoo says:

    In my culture, photographs are taken of the deceased and often placed in the family album. Okay, maybe it seems morbid but that is how its been done for as long as I can remember and death is not seen as a taboo subject or even the end of the person. Their spirit and memory lives on.

    • Kate #2 says:

      I don’t think that’s morbid, because it marks the final goodbye to a loved one.

      This is morbid because it’s a bunch of people gawping at a stranger dead in her coffin, just because she was famous and some slime sold stolen snapshots to a tabloid. It’s the lack of respect for the bereaved that galls me.

      • Hootie Hoo says:

        Agreed. It is one thing to have a picture of my auntie in a photo book and quite another to have an unauthorized photo on a rag like the Enquirer.

  51. k says:

    Total invasion of her privacy. The person who took the pic needs to be killed asap. I think it was Bobby’s sister.

  52. Jolene says:

    My store got it today. I am not sure how to feel about it. I was certainly shocked though! o.o

  53. Kate #2 says:

    Sometimes it feels like the media (and some fans) forget that famous people are actual human beings and not on some sort of huge soap opera. This is one of those times.

    Liking someone’s music, acting, writing or whatever is not a reciprocal relationship. She would not know the overwhelming majority of her fans from a bar of soap. I really admire my kitchen fitter; he does amazing work, has taken years to perfect his craft, and is a true professional. It doesn’t mean I have a complete right to know who he sleeps with, whether his marriage is happy, or what he looks like in his coffin. I’ve never really understood why some people feel showbiz stars are different, and have no right to privacy at all. They do a job, and while publicity is part of that job, they still have the right to draw the line on what they’re willing to share. A showbiz career doesn’t mean they have to let people in on everything, and have no right to any privacy at all. I really don’t get why or how people are so entitled, sometimes. Your coffin should be safe from strangers gawping if your bereaved family want it to be. Full stop.

    A fan is a stranger to the star and their family in almost all cases. You know their work and what they look like and how they present in interviews… and they don’t know who we are at all. And to pander to morbid curiosity under the guise of servicing fans’ grief is pretty low, IMO.

    I like gossip. I’m human and gossip has evolutionary benefits – it must do, to be so universal. But there is a line crossed when people start to think they are *entitled* to know the private business of famous people, or to disrespect the feelings of those who actually loved and were loved by them. There’s a big difference between being curious, and being entitled. Whitney’s family would have had every right to release these images if they wanted to and felt that was right and appropriate as part of their grieving process, but they didn’t. They wanted them kept private. And Houston has left behind her only child, who by all accounts is devastated and seriously struggling to cope, and only in her teens. How will this make her feel? Who cares about the feelings of her fans, compared to the feelings of her kid? Her fans don’t know her; never did, never will. Her fandom has every right to feel sad, and I’m not saying any different, but it isn’t grief in the way losing someone who was a huge part of your life and you a huge part of theirs is. Losing someone close to you is devastating and under conditions such as these… it doesn’t even bear thinking about. The what-ifs and the guilt and the second guessing when someone dies in such a way, and relatively young, must be hell. And media intrusion, just to make a quick shady buck, is horrible.

    • Whtavever says:

      Thank you kate. I loved Whitney so much, and I wanted to be at her funeral. But This is way too much invasion of privacy. She’s dead, at least have some decensy to show her respect. To the monster who took this pic, I hope they’re caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent. People like that don’t even deserve to breath. Bobby!

  54. Violet says:

    I think it’s disturbing and disrepectful to publish that photo. Worse, I suspect a member of her family sold the shot.

    I feel bad for Whitney’s daughter; seeing that all over the place is the last thing she needs right now.

  55. Christine says:

    Aside from the casket photo, does anyone here suspect it was suicide?
    Think about it. Houston lost her voice, and she received boos during her last tour. It makes sense she’d be feeling depressed right before the Grammys.

    • skuddles says:

      I thought about that too Christine… but I don’t believe her demise was conscious and deliberate – I think it was probably the result of a destructive fling that went too far. By most accounts, she was in pretty bad shape that last week so I think you raise a very good point about her feeling depressed about the Grammy’s.

  56. Bobby the K says:

    NE did that with John Lennon as well.

    It may unfortunately have been prudent for the family to release some sort of sanctioned photo, just to avoid this. And it would have looked good on the enquirer if they had paid a great deal of $ only to be undercut by her loved ones.

  57. Meg says:

    what family member took this pic and sold it? they sold the tv rights to her funeral, they all make money off of her

  58. Hypocricy says:

    I have mixed feelings. They have always done that, for Monroe, Jackson even Lady Di (but it was seized), ect…

    I think the fact that it’s a star and it’s tabloid oriented made it felt more disturbing to many but i have seen, pictures and even videos of people who are blown up, of dead bodies due to accident, homocides or crimes, including children dislocated members or what’s left of them.

    Those people are at times referred with their real names, real stories told by one of their family member.

    It’s the problem of information. Should we show everything and what’s makes Whitney’s different from a journalist or an anonymous blown up during a bomb attack or and accident where he or she is lying in his/her own blood and displayed in ever news outlet or even on TV ?

    They showed all the times dictator being killed, some are cut off into peices through machettes while being filmed, others are hanged, others like Ceusescu are gunned down and showed on TV.

    Pictures of tortured and dead Sharon Tate are all over internet till today….

    Should we inform in the name of journalism and should we show everything and are they people that should be protected more than others from being showed ?

    That’s where the debate should lie.

  59. Jill says:

    Houston’s family should sue behind that, and the Enquirer has shown their complete and total lack of common decency in publishing it.

  60. HappyJoyJoy says:

    Call me crazy, but this picture to me is a lot more dignified than her recent shenanigans. Looks better than stumbling out into or out of parties, disheveled, messy, probably drunk and/or high. Is it in bad taste that it’s being published on a rag? Absolutely. But then again, what could we really ever expect from The Enquirer?

    • Hypocricy says:

      Totally agree.

      It’s the tabloishly publicized which makes it obscene but those type of pictures intrinsecally are not degrading at all and have been publicized before…remembered not a long time ago James Brown dead body was pictured and exposed for more than two months before it was actually burried.

      I didn’t find the pictures tasteless. What i found tasteless was that it needed 80 days for his body to be burried because his numerous children were fighting over his will.

  61. Assistantrachel says:

    F**k you National Enquirer.
    You are a worthless piece of shit of a magazine, and will never see a dime from me.
    Publishing the last photos of a dead women with no regard to her family? You don’t get any lower.

  62. Zoe says:

    Honestly, I’m not sure why everyone is thanking Celebitchy for not posting it, she did. Just because it’s blurred doesn’t mean we don’t know exactly what it is and can’t make out details, or that it isn’t going to encourage everyone to flock over to the real thing. It would have been far more admirable to use a regular picture of Whitney when she was alive and discuss the controversy, if there was an issue with the photo being published. This is like watching a blurred photo of someone flipping the bird or muting the audio on a curse word, why bother? It’s right there. That said, the whole thing is disturbing, National Enquirer is sick. The only difference is that people quote it on blogs now as a legitimate news source, whereas back in the day, everyone acknowledged what a joke it is.

  63. Judy says:

    Oa kid seeing a picture of a casket isn not going to hurt them one iota. I have been going to funerals since I can remember and seeing people looking better in death than they did in life. Such nonsense. WH was not a saint . She should not be worshiped. You ahv e all seen James brown and Nichole Simpsona nd Sharon Tate and on and on for crying out loud, It was probably one of her own family that sold that picture mark my word because she dies broke and they need to make a few bucks. She no more was buried with 500k with of jewels then I have 500 k in jewelery. All of this is just to get attention and sell her old cd;s and make more money on her and here ya’ll are with your disgust and worrying about disreseptct for a woman who ahd no respect for herself or her family. If she had any she would not have died the way she did or sucked up drugs all those years.l SHe treated people like shit and they have reports she was nasty to the bartenders while sucking nup booze on her xanax the day she dies. Some saint. You earn respect and she did not earn it.

  64. Meanchick says:

    I disagree with snapping photos of people lying in caskets. Some people do it to have a memory of that person. This was not done for that reason. It was a selfish, greedy, disrespectful, disgusting, vile, betrayal of Whitney and her family’s trust. I hope they sue the NE and I hope they find out who did this and put them on full out blast! This is just another among many reasons why this world is going to hell!

  65. mia says:

    This is another case of a life wasted because of drug use. The fact she had access to a well pampered life does not make her life more important then the thousands of women who die everyday from drug use, either directly or indirectly. It is always a tragedy.

    How was her life wasted you ask? For every minute spent under the influence goes opportunity to do something wonderful.